Magazine article The Wilson Quarterly

Spoon-Fed Ideology

Magazine article The Wilson Quarterly

Spoon-Fed Ideology

Article excerpt

THE SOURCE: "Indoctrination U.? Faculty Ideology and Changes in Student Political Orientation" by Mack D. Mariani and Gordon J. Hewitt, in Political Science and Politics, Oct. 2008.

ARE LIBERAL COLLEGE PROFESSORS indoctrinating a generation of innocent college students? The perceived left-wing bias of the professoriate has inspired a push in state legislatures to enact an "Academic Bill of Rights" to protect students from being propagandized. Turns out, according to Mack D. Mariani and Gordon J. Hewitt, that students all along haven't been buying it.

There is little question, write Mariani, a political scientist at Xavier University in Cincinnati, and Hewitt, assistant dean at Hamilton College in Clinton, New York, that college faculties tilt liberal. In a survey by the Higher Education Research Institute, about 53 percent of professors identified themselves as liberal or far left, while only 16 percent said they are conservative or far right. By contrast, 25 percent of Americans surveyed in the 2004 American National Election Study said they were left of center, and 41 percent said they were to the right.

Mariani and Hewitt studied the responses of 6,807 students to questions about political orientation when they entered college as freshmen and three years later, when they were seniors. …

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